UCLA Basketball is playing quality basketball under first year head coach Steve Alford, having broken free from the lethargic play style of former head coach Ben Howland. It’s no surprise, however, that one of the most valuable assets to Bruin Hoops was once a part of Howland’s setup. Though many things were lacking in Howland’s program, cultivation of talent was not one of them. Look to NBA stars like Kevin Love or Russell Westbrook and key role players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for examples of this. Likewise, Adams has also reaped the benefits of Howland’s coaching, particularly as it pertains to defense. Stat by stat, let’s check out one of the PAC-12’s best young stars.
Since day one in Westwood, Adams has been recognized as a slashing guard who can shoot the three ball and score no matter what is thrown in his way. As is evident, Jordan is among the conference’s best scorers, ranking seventh overall. Though his point contribution has been valuable, UCLA hasn’t been short of points — they average a national tenth best 83.3 points per game. Defense, however, is another story.
UCLA has been shut down on rare occasions this season, but in their five losses, the main culprit has been getting outscored and out rebounded. For a team that thrives in the open court, nothing is more valuable than forcing turnovers — and that is exactly what Adams does. Moreover, his ability to simply break up passes like a defensive back is outstanding. making it that much more impressive is that he does it cleanly. Few fouls, 17 points, and 3 steals? Does it get any better? Yeah, it does.
While the numerical value of his free throw percentage is just good when put simply, Adams is clutch from the line in crunch time. When the season began, coach Alford had little thinking to do when it came to designating a technical free throw shooter.
Mix that all up, throw in a team player complex, and put him on a team with a multitude of guards who can drive and kick and you’ve got yourself quite the ball player. Topping it all off, Adams is coming off a recently healed foot which he broke in the PAC-12 Tourney last year; in doing so, he has upped every statistic of his in the book, aside from lowering his shot percentage by 0.01 percent, and that’s negligible. Adams is a huge difference maker for the Bruins, but should he play one more year in Westwood, the combination of Jordan and the incoming recruits will destine UCLA for a return to greatness.